Having qualified on pole and hoping for a dry race, my immediate thought upon realising this was to be a wet race was that I would not be securing the title in Brazil. A slow start saw Webber’s Red Bull edge ahead of me and maintain a gap of around four seconds, that I just couldn’t eat into. I yearned to get by him, needing to finish ahead of both Webber and Button to become champion, but as the laps progressed and my tyres deterioated, it didn’t seem that I would get the chance.
I did, briefly, get ahead of him as we hit backmarkers, but I was painfully slow on badly worn tyres (my strategy was for a dry race, and the game gives no option to adjust for conditions), and after the first set of stops I just in front of Button. Webber, Vettel, Hamilton and the surprisingly quick Massa would all pit, and I would emerge ahead of Webber to be in the driving seat for the title.
A second long stint hurt me once again, with both Red Bulls hounding me, and I had to work hard at one stage to catch and pass Hamilton.
Still, my pace was generally good, and I wound up in the lead as we approached the final stops – then fate, often so fickle, intervened.
My front right tyre developed a puncture, and the game mechanics being what they are, I was not called into the pits. The result? I lost the lead and had to pit from a few seconds behind Webber. When I emerged, I had 13 laps to chase down Hamilton (which I did), and somehow close a 22 second gap on the Red Bulls. Traffic allowed me to get within 10 seconds of them, but I couldn’t quite get close enough.
Still, Vettel stuffed up Webber by denying him victory, so my third place, and Webber’s second place, means we go into the final race with me on 110 points and him on 101. With a 9 point lead and only 10 available max, I am in a commanding position. Still, it ain’t over till it’s over, and whilst Webber must win, should he do so, and should I fail to score any points, he will be champion. We’ll find out next time.
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